You are right – there is no Grand Onion Canal. There is a Grand Union Canal but it’s not a typo either. Last year Big J’s dyslexic brain read “Union” as “onion” and now it shall be forever known as “The Grand Onion Canal” in our house.
That is where we have been. The boat was moored in the same place as last year but, having already visited Oxford, we chose a different route. The choices were… Shakespeare, chocolate or space. So naturally space won (although chocolate came a close second!). This translates as Stratford upon Avon (home of Shakespeare), Birmingham (Cadbury World) or Leicester (National Space Centre). We stopped off at various places on the way there and back, many of which were small villages because the route was very rural in places but also very beautiful. The weather has, on the whole, been good with only a couple of showery days.
We had a couple of tunnels and a couple of sets of staircase locks to do. Staircase locks are different from ordinary locks because you go from one lock straight into the next (no canal in between). I’m not sure how many locks we did altogether (I lost count!!!) but I think there have been times when we have done a lot more because we had a few days when there were very few or none.
There was added interest from a farmer who had lost his cows, visiting ponies, expeditions to find a shop for provisions or a pub for a meal. There was lots of time for reading and crochet and playing card games. There was also an unexpected but wonderful meeting with some old friends.
The Leicester section was unbelievably quiet and also very pretty. It was difficult to believe, for much of the time, that we were entering a city. We enjoyed the space centre and didn’t manage to get around all of it so we will make use of our tickets again later in the year.
The freeform thing is still growing around the edge. I did order more yarn and a yarny couple of treats for my holiday – more about those later. I did have a yarny good time while I was away, getting lots done.
I also got lots of reading done. I finished “Mad Girl” by Bryony Gordon. It was an interesting read but I still found the authors chatty style a bit irritating. I also read “The Canal Boat Cafe” by Cressida McLaughlin which LJ had bought me for my birthday. An easy, light summer read. It was ok. I enjoyed picturing the cafe and trying to work out how it would be laid out compared to our boat. Some of the characters were a little annoying though and the plot was a little too predictable at times. I think my problem was that I had saved it for so long it didn’t quite live up to my expectations sadly.
I need something else to read quickly but had no access to a bookshop along the way (should have thought ahead while in Leicester!) so downloaded a couple of books instead. I am now reading “The Summer Seaside Kitchen” by Jenny Colgan. I have read some of her other books and enjoyed them so i am hopeful. More light fluffy reading!
If you would like to know more about our canal adventures please do ask – I can give you lots more detail if you would like it!! I’d love to know what adventures you are having. Join Yarning Along with Rachell and tell us all about it.